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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unfinished Business (Jack Mankin)

Posted by: Jude (wayout1@columbus.rr.com) on Fri Jan 25 01:33:48 2008

Hi again J.M.

I must confess that I am not familiar with the nuances of the bat plane, whether it be your definition or Epstein's. In that regard you are the experts. I do know though, from observation, that when the ball is several feet from the plate Williams lead arm, with the bat just about to get that final extension, from the elbow to the end of the bat presents a straight line - a little more so than Bonds. I hope that you didn't think that by describing Ted's downward bat lag behind him that I was challenging your interpretation of the proper bat plane.

I do believe that to try to emulate Ted's bat swing and draw valid conclusions from that is futile. For that to happen you would have to have the same mind set as Ted, and it would help if you were Ted. Personally, I would rather rely on observation of him on tape and what he actually said in his book.

You may have misunderstood him when he talked about wrist roll. Williams stated in his book that the swing should feel like you were chopping with an axe. (What instructor teaches that today?) I am becoming convinced that the comparatively downward lag of his bat coming from behind him helped him to get frontal extension of his arms and bat. No one who has continued to hold onto the bat with both hands has ever gotten that kind of maximum extension, that I have ever seen.

(Lau Sr. used to think that if a player couldn't get good exension hanging onto the bat with both hands that he should release with the top hand. Of course this style seems to be the rage today. As you probably know, Ted for a long time frowned on this, but finally relented and recognized that it was alright to release as long as the release was after contact.) The wrist roll that Ted was talking about was after the ball was, using Ted's term, axed. If your hanging onto the bat with both hands, anatomically the rolling of the wrists is the only thing that can happen in a follow through. The power that Ted was referring to, I believe, was kinetic transmitted power. The rolling of the wrists was part of the two handed follow through. Unfortunately, Ted isn't around to deny or verify any of this.

Ted's extension allowed the arms to be positioned and work closely together throughout the swing. Perhap you have noticed in Bond's swing a different kind of action. Instead of extension out his lead elbow stays bent and relatively close to the body as his hands cut across a rotating body. The result is a tight low follow through. This gives the impression of a very efficient compact swing, which it is. I can understand why you and others would use Bonds as a model, even though his swing is not long and graceful like Griffey or A-Rod. These three are all modern day swingers, who are capable to some degree to be copied. This is not true with Williams. He was one of a kind. It saddens me to see a little leaguer standing at the plate setting up like Williams. I know he has read Williams book and is in for a huge disappointment.

Keep up your good work. I know sometimes you get flak from thereoticians, but your work has, and is going to continue to help a lot of yougsters.


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